By Jessie Ranew
Being an administrative assistant at a publishing house is a unique experience, because it requires constant communication with the various different departments and people involved in the publishing process. From making sure that the authors can get in touch with the editors to keeping constant contact with the warehouse manager to ensuring the company is on top of inventory, my responsibilities in the office lead me to speaking with many different people to keep everything running smoothly. I am usually the first point of contact between every person connected to a project.
Publishing is a long, detail-intensive process, and a book will change hands many times before it is in the hands of a reader, so it is my job to oversee the process at various stages to make sure the business is run smoothly.
Part of this is ordering new inventory to our warehouse from the printer that manufactures the books. When books start to get low on stock, it is very important to order stock early as the printing process could take a while in some cases and publishers make their money through selling books. If we don’t have any books to sell, this could lead to a few problems.
Communication with the warehouse plays into this aspect of my job, because I need to know our inventory numbers. Any time that a company, Amazon for example, orders a large number of books I need to make sure I let the warehouse manager know the correct books that are being ordered and make sure that the shipping labels are ready to go.
This leads to probably the most important part of my job: managing company finances in a program called QuickBooks. This allows me to oversee the accounts payable and receivable for the publishing house, so anytime someone orders books from us I need to bill them. Or anytime we print new books, it allows me to pay for the new books. These accounts also include the company payroll, author royalties, and the various publishing costs such as paying graphic designers for their role in the publishing process.
I also work with our current authors to make sure their royalty payments are accurate and timely, as well as fielding calls for potential new authors to our sales consultant or editors to begin the acquisition process. This includes answering and directing emails and phone calls from people all throughout the day to make sure the lines of communication are free to flow without any trouble.
I also keep in close communication with the editorial staff for helping with file maintenance to help get books where they need to go.
There is no shortage of responsibilities in my job but I love what I do, and it is great to be a part of the Atlantic Publishing team!